Do you think you ever met Arahant?

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Do you think you ever met Arahant?

Postby Thai_Theravada » Wed Apr 07, 2010 6:26 am

Do you think you ever met Arahant?, and if you think you do.
Let's share your experience.

:smile:
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Re: Do you think you ever met Arahant?

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Apr 07, 2010 6:27 am

Greetings,

No.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Do you think you ever met Arahant?

Postby ground » Wed Apr 07, 2010 6:32 am

I don't know, but I think I met several Buddhas :D

Or, maybe I met one and the same at different times and in different locations and with different states of mind :)

Seems it is up to me to decide ;)
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Re: Do you think you ever met Arahant?

Postby Mawkish1983 » Wed Apr 07, 2010 6:53 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

No.

Metta,
Retro. :)

Seconded :)
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Re: Do you think you ever met Arahant?

Postby Ben » Wed Apr 07, 2010 6:55 am

Hi TG
I don't know, but I think its highly unlikely that I've met an arahant.
kind regards

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Heraclitus


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Re: Do you think you ever met Arahant?

Postby PeterB » Wed Apr 07, 2010 7:33 am

I think I may have.
But as the person in question wont be drawn on the nature of his status it would not be wise for me to speculate on his behalf.
I will say that he is fairly widely seen as such.
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Re: Do you think you ever met Arahant?

Postby BlackBird » Wed Apr 07, 2010 8:12 am

Maybe not Arahant, but I suspect I may have met an Ariyan.
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
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Re: Do you think you ever met Arahant?

Postby Thai_Theravada » Wed Apr 07, 2010 9:20 am

Anumodana with every comment :anjali: ,
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Re: Do you think you ever met Arahant?

Postby Wind » Wed Apr 07, 2010 10:45 am

If I do meet one, I would instantly ask for the going forth. But it is rather discouraging that none of us have met one with full confidence, giving me the impression we might be left with just the blind leading the blind. :cry:
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Re: Do you think you ever met Arahant?

Postby BlackBird » Wed Apr 07, 2010 11:36 am

Wind wrote:But it is rather discouraging that none of us have met one with full confidence


It might be helpful to remember that monastics are bound by the Vinaya not to speak of their attainments with lay people. Furthermore what would you think if a person did tell you they were enlightened? How long before doubt rears it's head? Maybe there's good reason to doubt, there's no shortage of people out there claiming have got it. But a true teacher does not have a neon sign pointing out "Arahant over here!" No, one has to search and those with right effort, I dare say shall be rewarded.

metta
Jack
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
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Re: Do you think you ever met Arahant?

Postby Ben » Wed Apr 07, 2010 11:43 am

BlackBird wrote:
Wind wrote:But it is rather discouraging that none of us have met one with full confidence


It might be helpful to remember that monastics are bound by the Vinaya not to speak of their attainments with lay people. Furthermore what would you think if a person did tell you they were enlightened? How long before doubt rears it's head? Maybe there's good reason to doubt, there's no shortage of people out there claiming have got it. But a true teacher does not have a neon sign pointing out "Arahant over here!" No, one has to search and those with effort, I dare say shall be rewarded.

metta
Jack


Exactly!
It wasn't long ago that anyone, monastic or lay, claiming ariya status in Burma had their right hand removed. The law was aimed at protecting the guileless from charletans or those seeking easy fame or wealth.
kind regards

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Heraclitus


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Re: Do you think you ever met Arahant?

Postby meindzai » Wed Apr 07, 2010 2:02 pm

I've met some rather extraordinary Bhikkhus and non-theravada teachers and monks. They've all been a great inspiration, but I am not even remotely qualified to pin down what their attainments might be.

-M
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Re: Do you think you ever met Arahant?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Wed Apr 07, 2010 4:42 pm

I have met several well known meditation masters: Venerable Mahāsī Sayādaw was my preceptor, I stayed with Taung Pulu Sayādaw for a week or two, I met Ajahn Chah and Sayādaw U Pandita a few times, among other well regarded teachers.

It is not unusual to hear claims by disciples that such and such a teacher is definitely an Arahant, but how do they know this? Do they themselves have the power of reading minds? At best, it is an intelligent guess based on a long and intimate association with a teacher, but even then it would be hard to know for sure.

A certain monk was living in dependence on an Arahant. Living in dependence meant that he shared the same room as his teacher, did all the duties for him, and carried his almsbowl for him while walking behind for alms. One day, while walking for alms, the pupil asked, “Venerable sir, how can one know whether another person is an Arahant?”

The Arahant replied, “It is not easy, friend, to know if another person is an Arahant. Even if one lived in dependence on an Arahant, did all the duties for him, and carried his almsbowl while walking behind him for alms, one might not know that his teacher was an Arahant.”

Even when given such a broad hint as this, the pupil did not realise that his teacher was an Arahant. The Arahants have stainless minds free from all pride and conceit. They do not boast of their attainments, unless there is no other way to help people.

Then, supposing that one was convinced that one's teacher was an Arahant, there are two possibilities: it is true, or it is false. In the latter case there are two possibilities: the teacher is deluded, or a shameless liar. Either way, if one's confidence is misplaced it might well lead to one's own harm.

In the former case, supposing that one's confidence is well placed and one's teacher really is an Arahant, does it help to remove one's own defilements? Or does it lead to an increase in defilements such as pride, thinking “My teacher is an Arahant?”

The bottom line is that there is no way for us to know whether someone else is an Arahant, and it doesn't really matter. As long as we have confidence that the Buddha was an Arahant, and strive to practice his teaching, we can remove at least some of our defilements.
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Re: Do you think you ever met Arahant?

Postby meindzai » Wed Apr 07, 2010 4:53 pm

:goodpost:
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Re: Do you think you ever met Arahant?

Postby Nibbida » Wed Apr 07, 2010 6:12 pm

Like Bhikku Pesala said, I would have no idea if I ever have. Wouldn't it be interesting to live as if every person you met was potentially an arahant?

If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him. But be nice to arahants. :anjali:
"Dispositions of the mind, like limbs of the body, acquire strength by exercise." --Thomas Jefferson

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Re: Do you think you ever met Arahant?

Postby Kenshou » Wed Apr 07, 2010 6:44 pm

If only there were an obvious explosion of rainbows and golden lotus petals whenever someone becomes enlightened. Would make things easier.
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Re: Do you think you ever met Arahant?

Postby ground » Wed Apr 07, 2010 7:02 pm

A certificate or diploma would do as well ... but who would issue these? :rofl:
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Re: Do you think you ever met Arahant?

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Apr 07, 2010 8:31 pm

Dear Venerable,
Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:I have met several well known meditation masters: Venerable Mahāsī Sayādaw was my preceptor, I stayed with Taung Pulu Sayādaw for a week or two, I met Ajahn Chah and Sayādaw U Pandita a few times, among other well regarded teachers.

It is not unusual to hear claims by disciples that such and such a teacher is definitely an Arahant, but how do they know this? Do they themselves have the power of reading minds? At best, it is an intelligent guess based on a long and intimate association with a teacher, but even then it would be hard to know for sure.

Thank you for your thoughtful post.

I would not want to speculate on who has which attainments.

However, it does seem to me that the way many teachers teach and write would really make no sense if they had not gone through the insight stages that they describe. To pick on a couple of distinguished examples from your web site:

Mahasi Sayadaw, at the end of his Progress of Insight:
http://aimwell.org/Books/Mahasi/Progress/progress.html
Though in the beginning it was mentioned that this treatise has been written for those who have already obtained distinctive results in their practice, others may perhaps read it with advantage, too.

Now these are my concluding good wishes for the latter type of readers: Just as a very delicious, appetizing, tasty and nutritious meal can be appreciated fully only by one who has himself eaten it, and not without partaking of it, in the same way, the whole series of knowledges described here can be understood fully only by one who has himself seen it by direct experience, and not otherwise. So may all good people reach the stage of indubitable understanding of this whole series of knowledges! May they also strive to attain it!


Practical Insight Meditation
http://aimwell.org/Books/Mahasi/Practic ... ml#Summary
It has been emphasised during this brief outline of the training that you must contemplate on each mental occurrence, good or bad; on each bodily movement large or small; on every sensation (bodily or mental feeling) pleasant or unpleasant; and so on. If, during the course of training, occasions arise when there is nothing special to contemplate upon, be fully occupied with attention to the rising and falling of the abdomen. When you have to attend to any kind of activity that necessitates walking, then, in complete awareness, each step should be briefly noted as walking, walking or left, right. But when you are taking a walking exercise, contemplate on each step in three sections; up, forward, down. The student who thus dedicates himself or herself to the training day and night, will be able in not too long a time, to develop concentration to the initial stage of the fourth degree of insight (knowledge of arising and passing away) and onward to higher stages of insight meditation (vipassanā-bhavana).


Sayadaw U Pandito, In This Very Life
http://homepage.ntlworld.com/pesala/Pan ... eader.html
It is my humble and sincere wish to help you discover for yourself the state of inner peace through the essays in this book, based on the Dhamma, or way of truth, taught by the Buddha and also following the tradition of the late Venerable Mahāsi Sayādaw of Rangoon, Burma. I am trying my best, as far as my wisdom can take me, to provide this service to you.
...
The last and perhaps the most fulfilling aspect is that you may be able to tally your own experiences with what is written in this book. If your practice is deep, it can be a joyous and rapturous occasion when you realize that your experiences conform to the theory.
...
I offer you my personal best wishes and encouragement. May you reach liberation, the highest goal.

These, and other, passages are quite clearly stating that those teachers have seen many students make significant progress along these paths. It would seem rather illogical that they had not themselves experienced those insights.

Metta
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Re: Do you think you ever met Arahant?

Postby BlackBird » Wed Apr 07, 2010 9:26 pm

mikenz66 wrote:These, and other, passages are quite clearly stating that those teachers have seen many students make significant progress along these paths. It would seem rather illogical that they had not themselves experienced those insights.


That's the same inference I have drawn from reading instructions from certain Bhantes in Sri Lanka and Burma. The way these teachers speak when giving Dhamma talks, or their mode of expression in writing books gives a very clear impression that not only is this path attainable, but that they themselves have walked it.

Whether it's Mahasi, Pa Auk or Nyanarama, those Bhantes who espouse these methods tend to speak with great conviction.

metta
Jack
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
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Re: Do you think you ever met Arahant?

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Apr 07, 2010 10:09 pm

Hi
I suspect I have, whether he/they are or not ????

Thinking back to when I met the specific person I suspect is, I don't remember seeing their head when they walked in the room, all I remember are the robes and socks?? actually I can remember their socks and voice better than their face.

I include 'they because who knows if I have or not met more possible Arahants.

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:In the former case, supposing that one's confidence is well placed and one's teacher really is an Arahant, does it help to remove one's own defilements? Or does it lead to an increase in defilements such as pride, thinking “My teacher is an Arahant?”

The bottom line is that there is no way for us to know whether someone else is an Arahant, and it doesn't really matter. As long as we have confidence that the Buddha was an Arahant, and strive to practice his teaching, we can remove at least some of our defilements.

regarding the first line

I have met someone who when his ideas are challenged he starts giving the CV of someone he considders his teacher (on-line) as proof his idea is right, It was seriously funny when he done it and the 'teacher' critisised his idea.

regarding the second line
:twothumbsup:
I suppose it could be boiled down to are we buddhists or followers of the Buddha. :)
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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